Whether or not you are a fan of the Olympics, here are two facts about the Games your business and brand need to have a think about before you decide to glaze over it and leave it out of your marketing and PR plans save for a quick, generic poster with a “Go Team USA!” on your feed:
- Fact One: The Olympics runs officially from August 5th through August 21st (Opening Ceremony to Closing Ceremony) which means you have 16 days (or more!) of content, marketing, PR and social media opportunities related to this world-wide attention magnet.
- Fact Two: Statistically, the world will in fact be watching – and engaged with – this event: 76% of the world’s population is expected to tune in and 85% of those will be using additional devices (smartphones, iPads, computers) while watching. Folks, you know this part is true! How many of us will be sitting still staring at the TV screen without touching our phones or checking in on social media? Not this girl, and not over 33.9 million other people expected to generate over 2 billion Olympics-inspired impressions! (Olympic Committee).
You can make a long term impact on your brand perception and awareness, not to mention your bottom line starting now (yes, right now) through the end of the month if you strategically and authentically get on board the Olympics train (hey look, there’s your Captain Matt Lauer of the Today Show at the controls), and get this: You don’t have to be anywhere near Rio to make it happen, you don’t have to be a diehard Olympics fan, you don’t have to have a massive social media team and budget, and you don’t have to spend 24-7 watching them to make this happen (you are an entrepreneur with a business to run, after all).
But you do have to pick an idea, take action, and execute it. Those are the three steps you have to take. I’m not asking you to race Michael Phelps in a 200 meter butterfly my friends, simply take those three steps.
To give you a little nudge, I’ve created five ideas for you to choose from, that can be customized for nearly every type of business. Find one that feels right for you, your business, and just as importantly, your customers, and work it into your social media, newsletter, or PR campaign this month. If you do, be sure you tag me (@SabinaKnows) and #PressForSuccess in it so I can see you in action!
Olympics Inspired PR & Social Media Strategies
Sabina’s If This Than That: “Award” Promotions Based on Competition Results
I love this strategy because it keeps people engaged in both the Olympic Games and your business, and the “what is going to happen, who is going to win, and what deal will I get?” unknown factor of the outcome of this promotion gets people – and keeps people – excited.
So here’s what you want to do: Decide upon one (or multiple) promotions that are dependent on the outcome of one of the game’s competitions. For instance you could say, “Every time the US wins a swimming medal we’ll give you free shipping for that entire day.” Or perhaps you could offer, “If the United States wins gold in gymnastics we’ll give you 25% off the entire day, if we win silver, 15%, if we win bronze 10%.”
You can also try another similar tactic such as, “If this *This Person* wins this happens, if *That Person* wins, that happens.” The result of the competition would then give your followers and customers offerings depending on which athlete wins a specific event.
This type of marketing and sales is one of my favorites for multiple reasons including the fact that it’s simple to set up, it’s exciting and unexpected – not even you will know how it will turn out – and it can be replicated for several other types of competitions that go on year round, from the Emmy’s (this September) to a local, hometown football championship or something involving your favorite sports teams.
A word of advice: Be sure you’ve set up parameters (how long it lasts, how many times they can use it) on your end and make sure those parameters are clear on your customer’s end as well!
Olympic Competitions at YOUR Office
Ever since the advent and growth in popularity of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, and now Instagram Stories, customers, fans, and followers have come to enjoy and in many cases expect to get to know the people (or person) behind the products, brand, service, or blog that they love. The more you can share bits and pieces of your personality and the behind-the-scenes of your business, the more people can get to know you, follow you, trust you, like you…and all of those feeling add up to them wanting to support you and purchase from you.
This buzz-building strategy allows you to give them exactly that – a chance to get to know the personality, faces, and more playful side of your brand by inviting you to hand out your own Olympic medals to members of your team. There are two ways this can play out:
A) Hand out medals/awards to members of your team (employees, assistant, intern, dog, UPS driver, those Post Office employees you see on a weekly basis) based on the “gold medal work” they do for you on a regular basis. Your goal here is to simply showcase the people who help make your brand work, pull back the curtain on a bit of your operations, and share the human side of your business. For example, you could award your intern the gold for award-winning graphic design on your new social media posts, or give the gold to your favorite Fed Ex employee who is the fastest packaging pro in all the world. Have fun with it! Record it! And share the photos – or better yet, the videos – on your social platforms, a blog post, and if you’re really feeling like doing Olympic-level work yourself, a newsletter.
B) If you want to have even more fun with this topic – and get a bit more active – you can stage, and document your own Office Olympics. This could include serious or silly races, relays or competitions (fastest envelope stuffer, office chair races, you name it) and while doing that you can highlight who is completing and show your races in real-time (or on video). Again, doing something like this is not only more engaging and likely to capture attention and eyeballs than your typical post or promotion, but it let you share the human and at times humorous side of your business.
Share Tips & Expertise That Are Olympics Inspired
One of the most powerful PR strategies around – one that any type of business can incorporate into their outreach, is “piggybacking” on hot topics or events that are already generating media attention, and there’s no doubt the Olympics are exactly that type of event. If you are an expert, coach, blogger, service provider – or a product maker with a specific type of expertise to share – you can offer to share Olympics-inspired tips with the press. Don’t forget, thought this idea is perfect for publicity outreach, you should also incorporate those ideas (and tips) into your blog, social media posts, and once again, your newsletter! The more ways you can share this information, the more people it will reach!
Here are some examples of how different types of experts and entrepreneurs could do that:
- [Health & Fitness Coach] Fitness moves inspired by the Olympic Games
- [Life Coach, Therapist, Wellness, Meditation, Doctors] How to Olympians Stay Calm & Focused During Challenging Times: Tips Inspired By Athlete’s Personal Routines
- [Stylish, Boutique, Fashion Expert] Team USA Fashion
- [Event Planners, Catering Company, Lifestyle Blogger, Chef] How to Throw An Olympics Style Viewing Party (complete with Brazilian food)
- [Event Planners, Catering Company, Lifestyle Blogger, Chef] Rio-inspired food dishes – Doesn’t only have to be about sports
- [Doctors, Health Experts] What you REALLY Need to Know About the Zika Virus (in Rio & Beyond)
Let Your Customers Hand Out the Medals
Your current and future customers as well as your social media fans and followers want to be a part of your business, and this is a simple way to help make that happen. Allow your brand’s community to “hand out medals” during the Olympics but inviting them to vote with their “hearts” or likes on your social media feeds. They will do this – and take part in your business in real-time, by choosing the winners of different “competition” you’re holding. Perhaps you ask them to select the next color or style in your product line, maybe you let them vote on which product out of three choices will be the “gold medal winner” and get an Olympic-sized discount that week, or maybe you let them choose the gold medal winner between three different products you sell, and that gold medal product will be offered
Here’s a tip: Don’t skimp on this award or people won’t be excited about voting and will neglect to engage. To prevent this make the prize worth it.
Here’s another little tip: Incentivize Their Voting: One lucky voter (“Olympic judge”) will get a product giveaway of the gold medalist prize!
Create Your Own Simple Social Campaigns to Boost Engagement
The opening ceremony of the Olympics is August 5th and the Closing Ceremony is August 21st which means you have a hefty chunk of time to interact with your current and potential customers in your own Olympics inspired creative campaign to encourage engagement with your brand. Not only will this help boost your visibility – most likely putting bringing new fans and followers (read: potential customers) to your business, but depending on what type of campaign you run and how you interact with them throughout, it will also help them get to know the personality of your brand and business.
Why not use your social feeds and newsletter to stir up some excitement and interaction during this time with some simple campaigns including:
Food Brand Example: Do you love this Olympics as much as Palmetto Pimento Cheese does? Share your favorite, cheesiest pic of you watching, tell us what recipe you’re eating our cheese with, and get a chance to be awarded your own gold medal: A 3 pack of our famous cheese! Tag your photos #CheesyOlympics, follow us on Instagram @PalmettoCheese and include our handle in your post to be entered!
Wellness Brand Example: Every week I’ll be sharing quick Olympic-inspired fitness moves here at Nadia Murdock Fit via our Facebook Live. Watch the video, learn exercises and share a video of yourself doing them. We’ll choose a lucky winner every week who will get my Smoothie Book and my Bikini Workout Series! Be sure you tag me and #NMFOlympics in your video so I don’t miss it!
Lifestyle Blogger Example: Rio Opening Ceremony Party Tips & Content – I’ve put together a collection of Brazilian recipes and entertaining ideas for your Olympics viewing parties and I can’t wait for you to check them out over on the blog. Get ready for a party people will be talking about long after the Olympics are over. Guess what else: I want to come to YOUR Olympics Opening Ceremony party. Since I cannot be there face-to-face I want you to tag your parties, food creations, and more with #KC_RioRecipes. I’ll pick a few lucky winners during the Olympics Closing ceremony to receive autographed copies of my newest cookbook!
Medical Expert Example: Zika Q & A Twitter & Instagram Chat. You can’t seem to talk about the Olympics without talking about Zika virus, but how many of you actually understand the ins and outs of the disease? Let’s clear it up this month, seems rather timely, eh? All month long I’ll be taking your Zika questions on Twitter and answering them there (with longer answers on my blog and YouTube channel). Post your questions on either platform and tag them with #LetsTalkZika. My answers will begin rolling in this week!
Now Hear This!
I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t point out an article (and discussion) that has been making the rounds in the (mostly) digital media as well as Facebook Groups and small biz conversations, and that is the talk of the U.S. Olympic committee bullying businesses (we’re talking big brands they compete with for attention for the most part) who are incorporating the official Olympic’s hashtag in their posts and marketing campaigns. You can read all of the details here. Rest assured, I don’t believe they had your tweets and posts in mind when they made these threats, and to clear up any questions we’ll have a lawyer on the blog next week when the Games go live to talk about this article more in depth!
Psst – Be sure you’re signed up for my newsletter so you don’t miss any of the juicy, legal details about hashtags as intellectual property AND all of the other juicy publicity & biz strategy tips I share weekly!
What will you be doing to generate buzz, awareness, and sales during the Olympics at your business? Is there anything we can check you out doing online?